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June 2010 Club News

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National Veteran 1 & 2 Cylinder Rally 2010

By Neil Bromilow

Our inspection day, 11th April, started at 8 a.m. and we had a steady flow of bikes to examine all morning. We stopped for lunch at midday. With most of the bikes done, I left for Perth at 1.30 p.m. Leaving Ronnie, Antoinet, Chris and Robin to do the bikes that came in the afternoon.

Line-up of 1 and 2 cylinder cars and bikes

Mother-in-law forecar and soloI had entered the rally on my 1912 Rover. Arriving at the Swan Valley Caravan Park at approximately 7.30 in the evening, I met up with some of the riders from Interstate. Ian on his 1913 Royal Enfield & Jenny Sargent who did back-up for us with son Daniel on a 1912 Triumph, Howard & Diane on their 1906 Phoenix tricar and 1911 Bell motorcycle  David in a 1914 Humbrette Cyclecar and Kevin and Joyce who were also in a 1914 Humbrette.

We all made a group and were camped near each other, spent most evening either tinkering with our bikes or looking over tomorrow’s itinerary. The oldest bike entered was the 1911 Bell. Starts each day were from the Oasis Resort, West Swan Rd.

Each day there was a raffle – prizes included a bottle of wine or a special book. I was lucky enough to win a special book.

Or an average the motorcycles were faster and easier to ride in the traffic than the cars. The committee catered very well for our motorcycles, especially as we didn’t have a clutch, gearbox and very little in the way of brakes.

Old bikes and worn riders 

There were signs placed in clear view far enough away from intersections to enable us to plan our next move, and on the more dangerous corners there were marshals to direct us to stop or keep going as the need be.

But the cars did have the advantage of a clutch although slower. It was an added attraction to see some of the drivers and their passengers in period costume to set the scene - well done.

As motorcyclists we were made very welcome by the car owners. We all had to deal with the modern traffic and the rain.

On the Monday we visited the Gomboc Galley. Lots of pictures and sculptures. Not for me, though I did admire the stainless steel sculptures. We then went on to the Battistessa Wrought Iron Studio - This was a blacksmith artist, and very interesting.

We had rain on and off all day, and stopped for lunch at Houghton’s Winery. It was a picnic lunch. We left there and headed back to the caravan park where we all worked on the Phoenix for the next few hours under a tarpaulin. We had pizzas from the nearby Caltex.

Tuesday - We headed to Sorrento Quay at Hillary’s via many back roads to keep us out of the traffic. Here the bikes were all put on display along with a dozen very old cars. We had lunch at Sorrento Quay then spent a few hours looking at very expensive boats.

On the way back was probably the hardest ride of the week. There were 7 sets of traffic lights all against me and all up hill. Jenny even got out of the back-up van to giving me a push start up the hill at by light number 6 I was buggered. I have to get a clutch fitted to my bike!

At night we had tea at “7” s restaurant in Midland it was a very nice meal, everyone happy.

Wednesday - Today we rode to Whiteman Park for a display. Very good museum at Whiteman Park, family orientated with a play area for the kids. Whiteman Park has on display cars, bikes. tractors, engines and a tram. Some of us caught the bus and went on a tour to Fremantle returning in the afternoon, while others visited the Car Club headquarters at Forrestfield. In the evening we had a barbecue at the Oasis inside because of rain.

Thursday - I took the day off riding and took the back-up van allowing Jenny to ride in the Humbrette. There were 14 sets of traffic lights on the route sheet today, so I was very glad that I choose to do the back-up.

Even young fit Daniel was exhausted after the traffic lights starts. He doesn’t have a clutch either. First stop was at the Midland Railway Workshops – Guided tour. This is not open to the public yet.

We got special treatment because some of the rally organisers had done their apprenticeships there and pulled some strings – wonderful, well worth the trip. Midland Workshops turned out 570 apprentices every year. All gone now. Now a shortage of tradesmen!

Lunch was on the banks of the Swan River in the pouring rain. Just after lunch as we were heading back one of the veteran car's engine flew to bits on a roundabout. How sad for the owners. We visited the chocolate factory on the way home. At night we had tea at the “New Mash Brewery” - very disappointing.

Friday - I rode again and went to the Vines, Ellenbrook, Henley Brook and we had lunch at Caversham at a place called “Mulberry on Swan”.

Mostly good back roads, some road works. Lunch was disappointing. Difficult to get out of their grassy area up a slushy hill some cars had to be towed out. We called at the chocolate factory again - yum! Final dinner and presentation at Oasis - very good.

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